Teenagers make up a large portion of the global population, yet it can be a challenge to reach these customers. There are so many factors that influence this niche category. From internal to external forces, it can be difficult for brands to correctly cater to teens. One of the main challenges is that teenagers themselves aren’t always sure of what they want. As reported by Fashion Snoops, teens today are having a hard time finding their place in the world. An age that has long been recognized as one of transition and development, how do brands and retailers respond to the needs and wants of a category that is often unsure of the answers themselves?

As concept stores become the trusted destination for the whole family, it’s important to find brands for this sector. Let’s explore some of the challenges of the teen market, where their influences come from, and ways brands are catering to teens, which in turn empowers retailers to address their needs and wants.


Influences on Teens today

One of the challenges of the teen market is that it is incredibly precise, yet only lasts a short time. Generally ranging from 13-17 years old, the teenage years mark changes in the body’s physical and emotional development. The anatomy of a teenager is drastically different than that of either a child or an adult. This can make it really challenging for them to find clothes that fit their changing bodies. Weight is redistributed, metabolisms change, first bras must be bought, and all within a context of emotional changes as puberty shifts chemicals in the brain. It’s a tumultuous and uncertain time, often resulting in heightened insecurity. The carefree nature of childhood is past, and social perception has an increased importance. Since all of these physical factors evolve at different paces for each individual, it can be difficult to find solutions for them.

The teen years are full of self discovery, sometimes on an awkward and winding path. To help them navigate this journey, teenagers often turn to outside sources. How long the teen years last ultimately depends on the individual and the forces that drive and inform them.


As for what drives them, resources of course range according to the individual. Social media is a large source of influence for all ages today, with teens being no exception. The rise of beauty and skincare routines has lead to “Sephora Kids” who use products designed for adults. Often including ingredients that are either useless or harmful to their sensitive skin, trends like this have lead to some teens even using anti-aging products.

Fashion Snoops cited a lack of resources targeted directly to teens as a source of trends like this. Without their own magazines, teens are are turning to adult publications and influencers for inspiration, resulting in their use of potentially harmful products. Some brands are emerging to combat the use of adult products with items specially designed for them. Little Lady Products is a perfect example of a brand catered to the needs of kids and teens. The formulas for their nail polish are free of the harmful chemicals often found in adult nail polishes.

Peers also have a large impact on teen shopping habits. Who a teen surrounds themself with influences the resources they turn to and what they seek in terms of clothing. All of these external influences are ultimately subject to the individual themselves. Each teenager develops at their own pace, both physically and emotionally. A culmination of internal and external forces come together to create the complex mind of teenagers, leading them to different labels as they search for their new wardrobe. Some teens will want to continue turning to trusted brands they’ve worn throughout their childhood. Others will seek new labels that feel like they’re designed just for them.


Brands catering to teens

Molo launched in 2003 with a focus on children ages 2-8. Since then, they’ve evolved to include ages 0-2 and up to 16 years old. By offering products from 0 through 16, Molo is able to accompany kids from infancy up to their teens. Within their collections, their fun prints and bold colors transform to adapt to the various ages. Molo is able to make the transition into teenage years more simple for kids that are looking to keep shopping a brand they’ve worn their whole life. With styles that fit their body as it develops and motifs that match their mental progression, Molo offers a familiar fit and feel as other things change.

This offers one avenue for accompanying teenagers, while other brands prefer to cater specifically to this niche. Empowering teens looking to break free of the brands that marked their childhood, these labels are made exclusively with this age group in mind. Maan is designed to dress 16 year olds around the world in fashionable clothes. Born at the turn of the century, they’ve stayed in tune with teens as times have changed. For Maan’s collections, the silhouettes remain comfortable and familiar, while the prints and colors add an elevated element perfect for teens finding their own style codes.

As for Indee, they chose to specialize in clothes and accessories for teen girls. Catering to the fun and free spirit of teens inspired by fashion, music, art, and photography, Indee has just what this demographic is looking for. With bright colors and bold prints, every item reflects what Indee likes and what they’re feeling. Much like teenage girls, Indee may change from season to season, but it always keeps its core values aligned. Their firm beliefs in self expression inspire everything they do. With a strong focus on building a sense of community, they give teens a space to turn to for style advice and a sense of belonging.

tween and teen brandsIndee

Having seen a void in the girl’s footwear market, Quadsis developed their shoes just for teen girls whose feet fit women’s sizes. Rather than being forced to shop the women’s selection, these girls can shop shoes that are made for them. Their wide, stable base and narrow heel support their still developing feet, while the styles are age appropriate. Started by two mother’s with their own daughters in this age range, they wanted to meet this need. A potential point of insecurity for teenage girls among their peers, Quadsis is made to help them feel confident and comfortable.

Meet Marie is another great example of a brand designed for teens specifically. The result of an insightful shopping experience with her own teenager, the founder designs each collection to be modern yet timeless. With effortlessly cool silhouettes, colors, and prints, their products are trendless. Meet Marie’s elevated basics are perfect staples for teen wardrobes. Made to be dressed up or down, their pieces can be endlessly mixed and matched, offering limitless possibilities.

Whether designed specifically for this age demographic or collections that carry them into teenhood, these brands are just a few examples of how to cater to the teen market. With so many influences reaching this sector that is impressionable and in search of their place in the world, it’s important to offer them products that are age appropriate and adaptable to their shifting bodies and appetites. Retailers can curate specific selections for them both in store and online that make teenagers feel seen. Brands can follow the lead of Molo to expand their offer to this market, or create entirely new labels just for them.

Get your pass to meet Maan at Playtime Paris, Indee at Playtime & Kid’s Hub New York, as well as Molo and many other brands at both editions of The Big Small Show. This summer is sure to have collections representing the latest in teen fashion and lifestyle! As for Meet Marie and Quadsis, you can shop their products year-round on our B2B ordering platform, OrderWizz.


Don’t miss these teen brands at the summer shows!

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Madeline Blankenship
Madeline Blankenship